The lithic industry from the Iron Age coastal settlement HAS1 (Inqitat), southern Oman
Keywords:pre-Islamic Arabia, Dhofar, Iron Age, lithics, geometric microliths
The excavation of the settlement at Inqitat (HAS1), conducted in 2016 by the Italian Mission to Oman (IMTO) in collaboration with the Office of the Adviser to H.M. the Sultan for Cultural Affairs, produced a large quantity of lithic artefacts. The material culture and the radiocarbon dating suggest that the site was settled from the Iron Age (eighth–seventh century BC) to the classical period (first–second century AD). Little is known about how inhabitants made use of the lithic resources available in the region during this period. Raw material ratios are used to reconstruct lithic resource provenance while technological analysis aims to reconstruct the production systems employed by local flintknappers to manufacture a wide array of lithic instruments. The raw materials used for tool production at Inqitat come from both local and long-distance resources: high-quality chert from the Dhofar Mountains was exploited locally while obsidian was imported from western Yemen. Core reduction strategies follow a highly flexible and opportunistic exploitation of surface volume. While blades and bladelets are rare small flakes are highly abundant and make up most of the lithic samples. Drills, scrapers, retouched blanks, and geometric microliths provide a glimpse into how Dhofar Iron Age populations made use of stone tools and what activities they engaged in.
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